Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Keep it Quiet

I turn to my coworkers because they are disconnected to my friends for advice. 

Me: Would you let your friends date people you've dated?
Coworker: Sure!
Me: How about your ex?
Coworker:  NO!  My friends know NOT to go near that territory!!! (Her eyes became sharp) 

She was curt as if this was an agreement she made with her friends as blood sisters in middle school, but then she added something really insightful -

Coworker:  You wouldn't be dating someone who rejected them.  You would be dating someone who they were in love with.  You'd be dealing with your friend's broken heart.


I've been in this situation before.  I thought that because I know how it feels, I should be capable of doing what I think is right in this situation... this was my opportunity to put experience into practice.

To put it simply: I am dating my friend's ex.  And they just broke up a month ago.  Yes.  I am that person.

Boy I'm Dating: I'll tell him [my ex] when I'm ready
Me: He needs to know
Boy I'm Dating: I haven't even spoken to him in weeks
Me:  As a friend, we have to tell him because we respect him

The boy I'm dating was content on not saying anything for at least a month as "healing time."  I became frustrated.  I told him that dating him didn't feel right until we told his ex, my friend.... but I took him on dates anyway... because I wike him.

A couple of years back, my ex dated my friend after we broke up.  I would have appreciated if I was told off the bat so that I could be hurt, raise hell and then move on instead of being in the dark for 6 months... missing my ex like the biggest idiot in my circle of friends who all knew. (But we were all young no one really knew what the right thing to do was).

I didn't want my friend to feel like that idiot, to feel so disrespected.  If the boy I'm dating wasn't going to say anything, I was.. over the phone... like a grown up with lots of experience and knowledge... good idea right?


Coworker #1:  What good will you do telling your friend?  If all it does it relieve you of guilt, then why let him know?  I wouldn't say anything right now.  What is your motive?
Me: You're right.. what is my motive?  Yes I would feel less guilty.. but ... No... it's because I respect him and I want him to know... and I know how it feels to be him.  That's what makes it so important.
Coworker #2: mmm, if it doesn't do any good, but hurt him. then why?  Keep it quiet.
Me: I... still think that he should know what's going on directly from us and not from someone random


Maybe healing time makes sense... but I want him to know because he is an adult and he should know that his friend (me) is dating his ex .. he should appreciate my honesty right?  right?

I picked up the phone...

Me:  I just wanted to see how you were doing
Friend: Aw, thanks Chris.  Things are good... you're so sweet (I didn't feel sweet)
Me: I just wanted to check up on you since we never really talked since your break up
Friend:  I'm doing fine actually.  Really busy.  I have good and bad days.  Wake up fine one day.  Not so much another.  I do miss is the group of friends...
Me: What do you mean?
Friend: Well.. it was just convenient to hang out with you and him and not really having to plan anything and just kick it.... it's funny, when I told my other friends, they thought it was weird that I didn't act like I missed him, but moreover I missed the hanging out with his friends... which I guess maybe true?

He went on and on about how he missed the convenience of hanging out because his ex had a nice network of gay fun friends...which made me feel that I can quickly rip off this bandaid.

20 minutes later he finally he got to this...

Friend:  Though, when people asked me if I would be okay with him dating other people I realized that I would not be okay with that.  That's how I know that I'm not over it.  I told my friends that I was surprised that I was still sad after a couple of weeks.  I thought I'd be cool by now. So I guess... I really am not over him.

This is where I threw my phone across the room and died for 5 minutes... not really, but almost.

I actually said this:  This is what I wanted to hear.  It sounded like initially you didn't even miss him at all...  just the friends.   He was someone special to you, this makes sense.  But I'm home now, I have to go.
Friend:  Ok ok.  Chris, thanks so much for calling me.  I really appreciate it. Talk to you soon okay?

I felt:  Defeated.


I flashed back to when I hung out with my ex during Christmas at a mall.  It felt good to see him.  He told me later on that he tried really hard to tell me right then and there that he was dating our friend.  But just couldn't do it.  It was already 4 months in for them(?)

...and now I know.  NOW I know how hard it is to tell a friend something that would hurt him.

So I didn't say anything on the phone call, I just hung my head low because while I was experiencing happiness, I couldn't fully appreciate it because I was hurting someone along the way.  And keeping it quiet seemed like the only way.  But keeping quiet about something so important to me was absolutely killing me...softly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

oh no..

I think your intentions are honorable. you're a nice guy chris but you'll just have to suck it up and tell him, and be the "evil guy" for awhile until he gets over it

personally as irrational as it is I wouldn't forgive something like this either. although people should be free to love/date who they want, it just makes you feel betrayed on so many levels. sometimes you just have to be the villain. if you feel guilty it is for the wrong reason. why not just go all out and in that same vein get everything out in the open? that's my unsolicited advice.